David Littleproud Declares He Will Challenge Barnaby Joyce For National Party Leadership

Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud has confirmed he will try to unseat Barnaby Joyce as leader when the party meets in Canberra on Monday.

Littleproud, who was agriculture minister in the coalition government and is a member of Maranoa in Queensland, said in a statement: “I informed Barnaby Joyce this afternoon of my intention to nominate myself for the role of leader of The Nationals.

“I also took the opportunity to thank him for all his service to our party.

“Ultimately, this is a decision about who will run the Nationals in the 2025 election. Therefore, out of respect for my colleagues, I will not make any further public statements until after Monday’s meeting.”

The challenge follows Gippsland MP Darren Chester’s announcement that he would also challenge Joyce, arguing that his colleagues’ “extreme” comments on climate change and the Coalition’s net zero emissions policy had contributed to the loss of the once-safe liberal seats in the cities.

But Chester has downplayed his chances of winning the leadership ticket.

Former Nationals leader Michael McCormack, who was ousted by Joyce last year, had also been considering raising his hand.

two men in suits
Barnaby Joyce and David Littleproud will square off in a leadership contest on Monday.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

ABC has spoken to nine nationals who privately said they would vote for Littleproud in a leadership vote, while others remain undecided or will support Joyce.

While cities voted for the change in federal elections, rural and regional areas did not.

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